Chapter 9 : Happy Birthday
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“No, no! I’m not going to say it!” I exclaimed, tossing my bag down next to the fireplace.
“Come on,” Remus pleaded, “Just once, then I’ll stop bugging you.”
I sighed and crossed my arms.
“It’s really not that hard.”
“Yes it is.”
“It’s not. Really.”
“How the bloody hell would you know?”
Remus sighed and sat on the couch, defeated. “I know you can say it. Just come on. Practice. Three little words, Marlene, I’m sorry.”
So last night, I may or may not have spilled punch on Marlene’s dress. A devil, fittingly enough. And while at every other party red punch wouldn’t have done much to ruin a red costume, this specific punch was purple, in honor of Halloween.
It also didn’t help that as soon as I’d honest-to-god done it on accident, James clapped me on the back and told me what a nice job I’d done.
Which brings me to why Lily said no to one measly dance.
James is kind of a moron.
I opened my mouth and took a breath and was actually about to say the dammed words when I smelled something burning.
Of course, it just happened to be my bag.
“Oh lord,” I started, fumbling around in my pocket for my wand.
Before I needed to do anything about it, Remus had already put out the fire that was attempting to consume my schoolbag.
I frowned at my charred schoolbooks.
Thank you, common room fireplace, for the marvelous birthday wishes.
I knew that greeting way too well for my own good.
“What do you want, James?” I asked pitifully.
James clicked his tongue at me. “Feeling guilty about last night. Tsk. Tsk. Shame. I thought it was rather brilliant.”
“Well it would have been if it wasn’t an accident,” I huffed, slinking back in my seat in the library. “Now everyone thinks I’m a bitch. Don’t go there,” I added, sensing the following ‘too late’.
“Well then. I guess you aren’t the girl I thought you were. I’m afraid I shall have to inform Remus to break up with you at once,” James said, dramatically turning his back.
“And why would you be needing to do that?”
I directed my attention away from the ceiling to find that Sirius had sat down in front of me, a smirk on his devilishly handsome face.
“Has our dearest Elsa been cheating on poor, innocent Remus? What a terrible thing to do,” Sirius concluded, shaking his head at me.
“Ha ha,” I said, sticking my tongue out. “James is only disappointed that I feel guilty about ruining Marlene’s dress.”
“Oh, don’t. She fixed it in a hearbeat after she was done making a bloody scene. Then she went off to dance with some seventh year Hufflepuff. Poor bloke doesn’t know what he’s into,” Sirius sighed sadly.
Oh for fuck’s sake.
“This particular Hufflepuff wouldn’t happen to be abnormally tall and have brown hair, now would he?” I asked hesitantly.
Sirius frowned. “As a matter of fact, he would be. His name’s Rocky or Ronald or something.”
“It’s Raffie,” I sighed. “And he’s my brother.”
“Tough luck,” James said smugly. “Let’s go, Padfoot, I think I hear McGonagall angrily screeching.”
That’s the second time James has done that to me.
It’s probably not the last.
However, the more important problem at hand was now the fact that my idiot brother was seen with my sworn enemy.
I need to talk to said idiot brother.
Though that’s a task easier said than done.
I gathered up my Transfiguration book and essay and made my way to the entrance to the Hufflepuff common room.
The Hufflepuff common room is in the basement of Hogwarts. No, not the dungeons, the basement.
It’s kind of off to the side a bit, and I think that’s just a cruel metaphor for the house itself.
Those poor Hufflepuffs just don’t get any credit. In fact, people are always saying how useless they are.
My brother just happens to be an unfortunate example.
It’s not that Raffie’s dumb or anything, he’s just, er, shall we say, challenged. In addition to his scores not being particularly wonderful, the boy is dreadful at annunciation. Which makes spells, along with floo traveling rather difficult, and let me tell you, mumbling ‘Leaky Cauldron’ can get you to some questionable places.
But he’s my brother all the same, and therefore I am morally obligated to love him.
Since I didn’t know the password, I just sat against the wall until the tosser came out.
He turned around and just kind of stared at me for a moment before leaving his friends to see what his bothersome little sister wanted.
“What’s this all about, then?” He asked quietly.
I swallowed. “Are you dating Marlene McKinnon?” I blurted.
Raffie started laughing. “Are you joking? Elsa, I’m a terrible brother, but the whole school knows how well you two get along, and well, I can’t really do that to you.”
I let out a sigh of relief. “Thank Merlin. Then who was she dancing with at the party?”
“Oh that was me,” Raffie admitted. “But if it makes you feel any better, she’s a right awful dancer.”
I grinned. “Thanks.”
Raffie gave me an uncharacteristic hug and smiled. “Happy 17th, baby sis.”
And that’s when I realized that he was the first person to wish me happy birthday all day.
I really hate taking Muggle Studies. I really do. Not that I’m that kind of snotty pureblood that goes around saying things like ‘mudblood’, but I really think that we ought to teach these muggles how to do cope with some of their daily problems.
Though I have to say that the pen is a brilliant invention.
“What is the purpose of a rubber duck?” I asked Remus as we left class. Professor Micheals was keen on open-ended questions, and he’d left us with this one tonight.
Remus shrugged. “Unnecessary merchandise, I suppose. Another pop culture phenomenon, perhaps?”
“I guess. Have any dinner plans for tonight?” I asked rhetorically.
Remus looked away awkwardly. “Actually, I do. So I’ll see you after, yeah?”
I tried not to look dejected. “Yeah,” I said quietly. “See you.”
Remus waved goodbye and left in the opposite direction as I skulked my way to thecommon room and up into the dorm, which was oddly empty.
I flopped down on my bed and got out my Transfiguration essay. What do wizards debate about the process of human transfiguration and why?
I frowned and tossed the parchment aside.
“Elsa! We’re sneaking out to Hogsmeade. Care to join?” Alice asked, popping her head through the door.
I shrugged. “Sure, why not?”
At least Remus hadn’t really ditched me then. I’m getting attached; I need to stop that.
I got my lazy self off my bed and followed Alice down to the common room, where Peter was waiting for us.
“Just make sure and be quiet, we don’t want McGonagall finding out about this. Sirius nearly got us caught last time,” Peter said. “Well, c’mon.”
I followed Peter behind a tapestry and into a tunnel, where we came out some time later, near Zonko’s.
“D’you think that the Three Broomsticks is really a good idea?” I asked as we waked through the village.
Alice smiled stupidly.
I looked at Peter, who had an equally idiotic grin.
“Fine, don’t tell me.”
When we arrived, Peter said he was going to check to see if there were any teachers in there.
Which seemed odd to me considering, from what Peter had told me not ten minutes ago, James, Sirius, and Remus were already inside.
I sighed impatiently, tapping my toe against a rock outside the door. “We should just go in,” I suggested.
“Yeah, you’re right,” Alice agreed.
She opened the door for me and I was shocked at what was inside.
There were banners hanging everywhere that said ‘Happy 17th!’ on them and lots of floating lanterns, glowing pink, and most importantly, James, Sirius, Remus, Peter, Mary, Lily, Raffie, and Alice were all there.
But that’s not why my mouth hung open.
Devon was with them, and I hadn’t seen him smile like that in a long time.
I ran straight to him first, obviously, and gave him a hug.
“Happy Birthday, Elsa,” he said into my hair.
We pulled apart and he pulled out a small box that was wrapped in silver paper. “I have to get going, but I wanted to give you this before I left.”
I took the package from him and peeled away the paper to reveal an ornate box. “It’s lovely, Dev.”
“Open it,” he encouraged.
I undid the clasp and reached inside to find a gold chain with a charm that looked rather familiar.
It was a gold circle with the inscription ‘May 17th bring you joy. Love, Mum’ on the inside.
“Thank you,” I said and hugged Devon again. “Click it for me?”
He did the necklace around my neck and I touched the ring, feeling around for something that could connect me to my mum.
Oh look at me, getting all sentimental and what not.
Makes me sick.
“I have to get going, love, but I’ll see you at Christmas, yeah?” Devon said, giving my shoulders a squeeze. “Happy birthday.”
With that he gave me a quick kiss on the head and left the pub, taking away my smile for a brief moment.
Leave it to James to ruin a perfectly nice family moment.
I laughed and turned to my friends and Mary.
You bet I just did that.
“Thanks, guys. This really is wonderful, but can I ask how we plan to not get caught?” I said, taking a seat at the nearest table.
Sirius grinned. “Rosmerta and I are very close,” he said, waggling his eyebrows and winking.
Peter snorted. “Meaning ‘Rosmerta is now happily passed out upstairs with no memory of any of this’ because we gave her a sleeping potion.”
Sirius tossed his hair back dramatically. “You know she can’t resist me.”
“What woman can?” I said jokingly, batting my eyelashes at Sirius.
Sirius laughed and my heart sank a bit.
“I hate to be the voice of reason at this lovely gathering, but Madame Rosmerta will only be knocked out for about another hour. So we should hurry along with the cake,” Remus interjected, smiling a smile that melted my heart just a little further into the cracks of truthfully liking him.
“Right then, James, if you will,” Alice said as James lit seventeen candles on a plain white cake (my favorite, no less).
They sang happy birthday, terribly out of tune and I was truly just happy. And blowing out the candles on my cake, I had nothing to wish for except for things to keep going up.
Of course, way to kill the good feeling, out of the corner of my eye I saw Sirius and Mary exchange a quick kiss.
But that was nothing compared to the frosting that James threw in Sirius’ hair.
James snickered and took another slice of cake and chucked it at him. Sirius ducked this time and the slice hit Mary straight in the face.
She picked it up off the floor and hit Peter with it, who aimed at Remus, missed and hit Alice and the war was on.
I didn’t really want to get cake out of my hair, so I decided that I would move myself away from the commotion. Remus followed.
“I have to say, I wouldn’t fancy trying to get this out my hair,” I said, staring at the scene.
Remus laughed. “I’m surprised Sirius isn’t over here. His hair has got to be insured for something.”
“I suppose James already put frosting in it, so he may as well. And besides, this is horribly entertaining.”
Remus nodded. “Before I forget, here’s your gift from me,” he said, handing me a wrapped package.
“Remus, you didn’t have to get me anything!” I said, taking the gift.
What was I kidding? Birthdays without gifts would be terrible.
I just say what everyone else is thinking.
I tore off the paper to reveal a book.
Through the Looking Glass.
I stared up at Remus. “How’d you know?”
Through the Looking Glass is my favorite book I’ve ever read.
And even though that list is rather small, I’d still say that this was actually a wonderful gift.
“Thank you,” I said sincerely, giving him a hug.
“You’re welcome,” Remus answered. “Now, I think we should stop this before it gets out of hand.”
I felt something gooey land in my hair.
A/N: Hello, all! So it's been a while and I apologize for that, but I've recently been mourning the death of my flashdrive, and I haven't been into fanfiction for ages, but after seeing Deathly Hallows Part 1 (at midnight, like the true geek I am) I just had that spark of inspiration I'd been waiting for. Anyway, thanks to all who reviewed and I hope this pathetic excuse for a chapter is enough to get by until next time. :)
I'll try to update more frequently, but I can't make too many promises!
Thanks for reading through this ridiculous author's note! And through the chapter, of course.
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